- Posted June 27, 2011 by
Kutaisi, Tbilisi, Kazbegi, Georgia
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Geogia's Hidden Gems
1. (Cathedral - Kortney Thoma) Gelati Monastary, a UNESCO World Heritage sight, makes a pleasant day trip from nearby Kutaisi, including beautiful walks, cemeteries, and ancient frescos. The one pictured is from the Monastery's main cathedral, a building dating back to the 12th century.
2. (Kutaisi - Kortney Thoma) Upon arrival at Gelati Monastary, you will find yourself greeted by cool air, persimmon trees and views of the valleys below.
3. (Old Springs - Kortney Thoma) Littered all across Georgia are natural springs with clean water for drinking, (the most famous of these being located in Borjomi). Many of these springs adorned with beautiful edifices in a nod to Georgia's rich architectural history and heritage, but often they are forgotten or abandoned into disuse. This one was located along a country road on the outskirts of Kutaisi.
4. (Mosque - Tbilisi - Kortney Thoma) One of the few remaining mosques in Tbilisi, this one is located in the bathhouse district of the Old City. Known locally as simply Tbilisi Mosque, this house of prayer dates back to the 16th century and was the first mosque built in Tbilisi. Visitors often note the striking colors of the interior walls, the lush carpet and the nondescript outer structure which many would mistake to be an office.
5. (Tbilisi Children - Kortney Thoma) The most pleasurable of all of Georgia's treasures are it's people. These children guided us around the bathhouse district of Tbilisi's Old City on afternoon with big smiles and lots of laughter. Georgians are incredibly hospitable and will stop at nothing to make a traveler welcome in their country and their homes.
6. (Kazbegi - Kortney Thoma) Located just 10 km from the Russian border, Mount Kazbeg has long drawn admiring eyes for it's dramatic snow covered peak and it's protective nature, watching over the small mountain villages below.
7. (Tsminda Samebis Church - Kortney Thoma) The Tsminda Semebis Church, located high above the mountain village of Kazbegi, at 2200 m (7,217 ft), is a symbol to all Georgians of their rich heritage and spirituality. Built in the 14th century, this church has long provided refuge and safe keeping for the country's treasures during times of danger. Service is held several times a day and if you are lucky enough to visit during one, you will no doubt find the acoustics pleasing and the serenity of hymnals in the midst of such beauty to be memorable.